And here they finally are, our favorite pictures from Bali. Enjoy!
Hotel Kusnadi, our hotel for the first 3 nights in Kuta. A friend recommended it and it turned out to be a very nice and quiet hotel without any trace of the craziness of the Kuta/Legian area right outside the door. And we got a great massage and rice scrub which was poolside and amazingly about US$10 – yay to affordable indulgence!
We didn’t like the Kuta/Legian area at all, extremely touristy, congested and the beach was more than uninviting. We decided to take flight and get out with a scooter we rented next door.
Renting a scooter in Kuta – in a shop that doubles as an art gallery.
We thought we were mentally prepared for the worst traffic of our lives but nothing could have really prepared us for Bali traffic, lol. Of course, we got pulled over by police within 5 minutes and paid a bribe of about 4 times the price of the scooter rental. Luckily, that was the only police stop and we made our way through winding streets and about three million scooters. Our destination: Echo Beach, a surf spot I had read about online. Our issue: No map! Result: We found it anyway, just riding around along the roads and going by the sun and some intuition. The sign was very appropriate though:
We just hung out for a while and watch the beginners get pretty much beaten up at the nearby “beginner’s break”. It was not a beginner’s break at all as I found out the next day we went back here (with a car and driver this time) and found myself tossed around, held under and dragged much too close to the rock in the picture to the right (above). Not a fun experience but those are part of the surfing learning curve I hear… 😉
After 3 days in Kuta or – in our case Echo Beach area and surroundings – we had 3 nights booked in a small village next to Ubud. Ubud is the art and cultural center of Bali and we were happy to get out of Kuta and up into the quiet(er) mountain region! Upon arrival at our Hotel Alam Jirah we were rewarded with the most amazing rooms and landscaping we had ever seen. Our room was apparently freshly renovated and even though now the best of the hotel the price hadn’t been increased yet to that fact. Lucky us! I took a lot of pictures since the beauty was present in every detail, see for yourself.
I don’t think we had ever lived in such beauty and luxury before. Flowers everywhere. And here is the amazing view of the rice fields and the path to our room:
Ubud is a 25 minutes walk from the hotel with the famous Monkey Forrest on the way. We ventured out to the actual Monkey Forrest Park on our first day and saw many cute (and some vicious) little monkeys. Some of them seemed interested in the visitors, some looked plain bored, and all of them were obsessed with water/soda bottles (they love sweets) and shiny objects such as sunglasses, cameras etc. Here are some pictures of the little buggers.
Padangbai on another scooter excursion from Ubud:
On that note, I am starving. Goodbye for today. 🙂